J.D. Phoenix is a controversial choice for PrEP spokesperson. The adult film star has a reputation as a party boy and he’s been open about his meth addiction, and his love of gay sex. But that’s exactly why Kenny Shults chose him for the starring role in a sexy PrEP education video. (Watch the video here and read more about Shults here).
Phoenix hails from a small town in upstate and New York. He was barely out of high school when he became an overnight success in adult films. More than just eye candy, the porn star has spoken at colleges and universities from Dartmouth to the University of Albany about his travails in the adult film world, his meth addiction and PrEP. In this short interview with Plus, Phoenix talks about PrEP, sex, the dangers of alchohol and the media campaign.
When did you start using PrEP?
I started using it 2013. Me and my doctors would talk about all the time, because of what I do obviously, but I started on it because I was seeing this other adult performer who was positive and I knew I was negative and I wanted to make sure I could do everything I could do to have the most fun and open sex life with him. I wanted to make sure my bases were covered with the whole HIV thing.
How did you hear about it?
Being in the industry everyone talked about it, but not everyone was open about it. Which is kind of disappointing, especially for someone like me, who grew up in the industry. I can’t count how many young people I’ve seen contract HIV. I thought this needs to be stop, which is why I began talking about it.
You received a lot of backlash in the press for the spot, Yet you answered it with grace and poise and never got angry, which you had more than a right to do.
I love stuff like that. I love blogs, I love reading comments, because it just shows and reveals to me where certain people’s minds are…. where they’re at, as opposed to where some of us are. I could be nasty, but what’s the point? By being open about it, people can see that I am taking steps to make my life better or securing it for the future.
And it’s funny, especially the meth thing. So many people go out and live in this delusion that they can go out and drink, and because they don’t do meth, pot and cocaine that they’re safe. Alcohol is the worst drug possible. This is a fact. Alcohol has killed most of my family members, and even people that I’ve gone to high school with. Schoolmates that I graduated with in 2011, have died from DWIs and alcohol poisoning, so yeah meth is bad, but it’s not even close in comparison. And yeah while I’ve been open about my use, many people are using it in secret, but that is the root of addiction, to deny and lie about it, which allows it to control you.